About William “Buffalo Bill” Cody

Buffalo Bill was born in 1846 in LeClaire, Iowa, and left his home at the tender age of eleven. He tried his hand at many trades through the west, such as herding cattle, driving a wagon train, fur trapping, gold mining, army scout, and even a Pony Express Rider. He was well versed for his career in show business.

He began to show the world a slice of the wild west in 1872 with his acting debut in “The Scouts of the Prairie”. He continued in various renditions of shows depicting the life of the frontier, until he conceived the “Wild West” show that made him famous. This show was designed on a grand scale to entertain and educate with hundreds of actors and live animals. At one point, the show cost $4000 per day to produce. The “Wild West” show included many skills that would later become standard competitions at rodeos, representation of Native Americans and their culture, and equal opportunities for women to shine.

Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show are credited with improving relations between America and the many countries of Europe where his show toured. Buffalo Bill was consulted on matters of the west by every president from Grant to Wilson. At one point during his illustrious career, he helped to develop the Sheridan Inn and staged auditions for his show from the porch. In 1917 Buffalo Bill died while visiting his sister in Denver, CO. One of the most famous Americans in the world was laid to rest on Lookout Mountain in Colorado. As Annie Oakley is quoted: “He was the simplest of men, as comfortable with cowboys as with kings.”

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